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Peres: Abbas is Serious About Peace

President Shimon Peres hails Abbas's comments on "refugees", tells Peruvian counterpart: We want to achieve peace with our neighbors.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/18/2014, 5:42 AM

President Shimon Peres at official dinner with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala
President Shimon Peres at official dinner with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala
Flash 90

President Shimon Peres on Monday hailed remarks by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on the issue of the “Palestinian refugees”, AFP reported.

Peres, who said Abbas’s comments showed his "seriousness about reaching peace", was referring to what Abbas said during a meeting Sunday with more than 300 Israeli university students at his Ramallah headquarters.

At the meeting, the PA chief told the students said he did not want to "flood Israel" with so-called “Palestinian refugees” and that there was no need to "re-divide" Jerusalem.

"I was happy to hear him," Peres's office quoted him as saying at the start of a meeting with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala.

Kol Yisrael radio reported that Peres told Humala that Israel was at a point where it needed to make decision that are not easy but necessary in order to reach peace.

“We won seven wars but the victory we want is achieving peace with our neighbors,” the report quoted Peres as having said during a dinner in honor of the Peruvian president.

During their earlier meeting, the Israeli and Peruvian presidents talked about the peace process and about increased economic, scientific and agricultural cooperation between their two nations, said a statement from Peres's office quoted by AFP.

The Jewish state was accepted last week as an observer state to the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc grouping Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru -- four of Latin America's fastest-growing economies.